To Do … To Do …To DOO

Where to begin. Life has been getting a little busier these past few months. We were given an amazing opportunity to go overseas for a few years … and we grabbed it with both hands! It was an interesting experience, neither of us hesitated in saying lets go for it and we didn’t think twice about leaving our lovely home for a while.


It’s exciting and scary and  I would be lying if I said I haven’t had heebeejeebee moments like ‘What if the kids don’t settle ‘ or ‘what if I hate it’ or ‘ what food will I be able to buy in the supermarket’ but for the most part I can’t wait to have a big adventure as a family. Making memories together, learning new things and opening the children’s minds is what excites me the most.

If I am completely honest, I thought my travelling days were well and truly locked in a suitcase under the bed … there was definately a little spark reignited at the thought of unleashing the wanderlust again 🙂

Overall I feel grateful to be given the opportunity and it makes me appreciate what we have in our life here all the more. Gulp. It will be hard to say goodbye.


SO . Now that you are up to speed on what lies ahead … this is a pretty good idea of what the chalkboard in our kitchen has been like for the past few months … just when things get knocked off another 10 things are added . It’s been relentless … and that is just what’s been written down .My brain is like a washing machine drum full of ‘I musts’

The crazy part of it all is that we have been finishing off lots of bits and pieces around the house and it is finally coming together. I feel like I am on the last mile of a marathon … gaining momentum only to press a pause button just before the finish.

so here’s a sneak peek at some of the befores in the children’s bedrooms upstairs

remember this from  House Tour … the BEFORE!

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Now One big room has become two rooms . This was very exciting for the kiddies to have their own rooms. It made the pain of all the dust easier to bear.

this was when the partition wall was being put up.



These are probably not the best pictures but the rooms are more spacious than they seem here. When the rooms are tidy enough I will post the afters .. heehee … I promise it won’t be too long … our clock is ticking!!

That’s my lot for today … I hope you are making progress with any projects in your homey homes … or planning a big adventure … please feel free to tell all in the comments below!

ciao for now.


Gallery Wall & Woodstock


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Summer has been very busy, a lot of rearranging of rooms, decluttering and reorganising. Our upstairs has had a bit of a makeover so  a lot of waiting around for builders and living in chaos was endured during June and July but we are almost at the end of it. Finally the kiddies have their own rooms (well the girls are sharing) but they are all delighted with the new space. That is for another post!


Woodstock in Apple Cottage

Last week we (when I say we … I mean my amazing partner in crime heehee)  gathered,chopped and stacked some trees we had cut back in the garden. They were stacked and arranged with much love and care in the livingroom.

I really can’t post this without mentioning that this beautiful installation lasted all but two days as I noticed the wood wasn’t quite dry enough to be brought inside due to some furry white stuff creeping all over one of the logs … so they were hastily removed and put back outside the back door to dry!!!

photo gallery

Gallery wall is in progress

Am delighted to say that there has been some “Framage” Not quite finished or ready for hanging but there are photos selected, printed and almost ready to go …. it’s hard work … and very time-consuming as you know yourself!

I picked up some frames in Woodies DIY and TkMaxx but have some more to get … am really pleased with them … watch this space It should grow over next few weeks and should manage to make its way to the wall before Christmas if we’re lucky!

Would love to hear if you have made any gallery wall progress or plan to … it’s comforting to know you’re not alone!

Ciao for now,


ps. come find me on instagram @gillderiu 🙂

all photos copyright (C) Gill Deriu of The Happy Casa

Testing … 1 .. 2

… testing. Please tell me there is no actual tumbleweed in sight. Feeling a little ashamed of myself for neglecting the Blog for so long when I vowed in January I would get back in the saddle.

There are no excuses except for a serious dose of procrastination and lots of busy moments and projects on the go.

The most exciting news from last year is that ‘The Happy Casa’ was shortlisted for the Irish Blog Awards 2015  HURRAY … Super chuffed I was with my new ‘shortlisted’ button which you can check out if you scroll to the end of this post … tis the simple things in life that brings one pleasure!

So with no further ado and keeping it short and sweet we’ll fire this quick update out pronto!

The Hallway has had a little makeover with some floor coverage


hallway before

Remember this …


Some Art has actually been hung


testing one two

After a lot of holding, standing back and ‘umming and ‘awe ing …


This is one of my favourite prints from Bold and Noble, It’s called Nest : I love its simplicity and sentiment. The small colourful painting on the bottom left was done by my eldest girl.

The little Sardinian lady we bought when we went to Sardinia last year for a wedding. It was such a tiny cute piece but I wanted to give her a bit more presence so I picked up a cheap as chips generic high street picture  in my local charity shop… painted it white and mounted the lovely lady giving her the glory she deserves. At least our walls are begining to get some love … 



All in all we’ve been busy. I’ve taken on a few projects and hopefully I’ll share them here  soon!

Sin e an sceal …  (pronounced  ‘ Shin ay on shcale’ for any non irish speakers)

There are a few more before and after updates but I’ll save them for the next post.

Please feel free to comment in the comments below or sign up to receive updates straight to your inbox (consumer beware: you will most definitely NOT be bombarded with too many emails 🙂

Until next time have a great week

Ciao for now,



All photographs copyright of Gill Deriu at The Happy Casa, Feature images courtesy of and pinterest


From drab to FAB … Lamp makeover!

Anyone who is allergic to feathers and PINK look away now! I inherited this lamp from my mother who was giving it to the charity shop. I thought I’d give it a little makeover for my (big) little girls room.


It started out looking a little dull and lifeless, so with a lick of white chalk paint, a glue gun and a FABULOUS pink feather boa this sad little lamp became fabulous DARLING!!!

( I think I may be secretly channelling my inner girl here but bear with me!)


This is the lamp in sitiu… what do you think? Any health and safety worriers out there rest assured that I made sure the feathers have no contact with the bulb.


Only time will tell on how practical the thing is after its experienced a bit of knocking about in a kiddie’s room, but for now am pleased enough.

ps. my big ‘little’ girl when she saw the nearly finished product “LOVED ” it. When I presented her with the finished product she said ‘ I like it but can we change the colour to yellow?’

All comments welcome in the comments below or if you have any ‘drab to fab’ projects to show and tell …pleease do!!

ciao for now,


Operation ‘Open Shelves’ in Kitchen …

open shelves inspirat

So what is the general consensus on Open Shelves in Kitchens? I know some people feel it just creates another dusting job … yeh or neh? I have been going on for ages about this project so it was really time to just go for it. A few months back when my parents in law were here on a visit, my father in law kindly helped us take off the top cupboards in the kitchen. YAH! finally … so what was left … this fabulously ugly blank space but it felt so much more spacious and light filled.



So this was Before the BEFORE!

I have to admit I got a tiny ‘ oh it wasn’t really that bad before I painted the cupboards’ moment !

This was taken when I was prepping it for painting over two years ago.



… and this is the ‘Before’ … and also the ‘During’ 🙂

I’m ok again with the decision to paint the cupboards … although it is up for another makeover … but for now we’ll concentrate on the shelves!

In a moment of panic we searched the shed for our spare tiles and thankfully we have enough to fill the void … ( was secretly peppering as I thought I had returned all the spare boxes by accident)

We have purchased the soon to be shelves (AKA two 8ft Scaffold boards) They are sitting pretty ugly in our shed awaiting to be stripped and dressed back up again fit for human eyes.

This is my vision, or at least a little look at the inspiration from my pinterest boards …

openshelve insp

open shelves inspiration

open shelves inspir

openshelves insp

open shelves inspiration

Stay tuned for progress updates folks and please throw your opinions, thoughts, random observations or open shelf experience in the comments below … will look forward to updating ye soon 🙂

ciao for now,

g x

Time out …


Some long overdue ‘Time Out’ was taken last week thanks to a family occasion abroad and a very generous energetic babysitting Granny and my Aunt who fulfilled all school-run duties in our absence.

No emails, no social media, no text messages, no to-do lists, no projects, no early mornings … for one whole week.

Lots of amazing food, organic wine, laughs, catching up with family and best of all was the silence on long car journeys … or small car journeys for that matter 🙂

I have to admit when I finished my book on the plane home I took off my glasses, closed my eyes and made a mental list of things I needed to do on return, but this time it felt refreshed and energised with batteries fully charged.

I hope you have a ‘time out’ planned sometime soon if you haven’t already taken one this year … sometimes a long walk and a lunch out can be enough to switch off and recharge. Back to reality today with to-do lists a plenty and not a minute spare from Monday to Friday … but I am not complaining. Have a great week 🙂

ciao for now,


Photo by Gill Deriu

Billy bookcase and cable camouflage …

Everyone has that dreaded corner where unsightly cables seem like they are about to take over the space like a viral epidemic. You know you are in cable crisis if every time you walk past them they catch your eye and it drives you bonkers! I tried tying mine together with twine to make them into one big ginormous cable. * not a good idea.

Then I labelled them with those little plastic tags you get from the Kleenez man. That served no purpose only to satisfy my organised self … they still managed to creep out underneath side tables, chairs and scream at me every time I passed them.

I decided one afternoon that the spaghetti junction would not get the better of me. I was faced with two dilemmas.

1. the telephone line and internet modem had to stay there, as does some form of light source

2. the space is in a part of the room that everyone walks by at least a hundred times a day so it is a very visible and awkward space

The epiphany arrived and it came as a two for one offer. A bookcase, to be more specific … my old reliable Ikea Billy Bookcase (which to be honest had been kind of shifted from one room to another as there was no space for him since we moved to this house )

Billy got a makeover and got to try out a new position on his side and hey presto… I solved that awkward corner walk through space and hid my unsightly cable situation. Hurray! win win all round 🙂


Check out my internet modem camouflage aswell … I spotted this ages back on Pinterest and knew I had to do it. We have one of those really archaic modems … it’s huge … so I bought one of these faux book wooden boxes and it sits right in.

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Ah it’s the simple pleasures in life that bring us peace!


I took these photos quickly just after I re-jigged everything around … and in case any of you noticed the blank walls … they are waiting for some lovely artwork or photos … not sure which yet 🙂

I’d love to know if you have had any great ideas for hiding ugly cables/modems or any tips for Ikea hacks …

hope you all having a great week so far,

ciao for now,


First image above sourced on pinterest from

Wall Art Inspiration …

A recent visit to a local Art Gallery really inspired me to get moving on the Wall Art situation at home so here’s some home Wall Art Galleries to inspire and admire!

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found on

found on

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found on

Off now to root out some paints … I wish! … anyone else feeling inspired? would love to hear if you’ve any projects on the go … photos for my photo gallery are almost ready to print … hurray!! … no frames as yet but it’s a start!! Need some moral support on this one so feel free to write in the comments and fill me in on your progress too!

Have a great week. ciao for now


Buddha Revamp …


Anyone who has travelled in Asia will have found it impossible to avoid Buddha. Whether you are Buddhist or not, it is very difficult not to be struck by the tranquility and calmness of being in the presence of a Buddha image/sculpture and all it represents. Since travelling in South East Asia many moons ago I vowed to one day have my own Buddha for my own tranquil space (when I finally found my own space)

In the search for a little Zen I picked up this Buddha this time last year in a sale and intended to revamp him as soon as I brought him home.

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Off I toddled to my local Co-op and got loads of help from a young chap who broke all the rules by opening a few different cans of spray paint so I could get the exact colour I was looking for ( honestly, I was a bit mortified…and felt like a wannabe graffitti artist as I sprayed and stood back and sprayed another … all the while looking over our shoulders to make sure the manager wasn’t about … you get the picture! ) Anyway I finally decided on Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed bronze.

Above is the ‘just before the spray got under way’ look … The first coat was quite light and almost golden and I was tempted to leave him that colour … but then decided Gold wasn’t really the aim so kept on going with the second coat. I was a little unsure about the final result and had a few seconds of regret that I hadn’t left him in his light golden state…but the colour grew on me and it has a nice sparkly sheen in real life.

I wasn’t quite sure where to put him indoors and everytime I moved him around the house he just didn’t seem to quite fit … so the last few days we have been out in the garden a lot and his ‘spot’ finally revealed itself to me! Outside amongst some pots of flowers he sits in all his Zen-ness. I can look at him from inside the kitchen and pass by him if I walk around the outside of the house.


I remember reading somewhere that a Buddha should never be placed directly on the ground so I need to place something underneath him … just in case … I’m not superstitious or anything… it’s just out of respect … well maybe I am just a little superstitious … 🙂

Do you have a Buddha in or outside your space? … or are you a bit partial to some spray painting? … please tell all in the comments below!

ciao for now,


ps. I am working on the photo gallery wall … am sifting through hundreds of photos … no pressure on anyone now … 🙂 keep me posted on your progress … or lack of!